As part of efforts to treat persons suffering from drug addiction in Nigeria, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA will establish standard rehabilitation centres across the six geo-political zones in the country
The Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Mohammed Buba Marwa disclosed this at the 5th biennial national symposium on; “Drugs and Drug Policy in Nigeria,” held in Abuja and organised by the Centre for Research and Information on Substance Abuse (CRISA).
According to Marwa, “Substance use and abuse around the world including Nigeria is on the increase in terms of the proportion of the world’s population.
Findings from the National Drug Use Survey (2018) conducted by the UNODC revealed that 14.
4% or 14.
3 million Nigerians aged 15 – 64 years had used a psychoactive substance in the past year for non-medical purposes, meaning that One in Seven persons has used some substances other than alcohol and tobacco.
He added that more worrisome is the finding that among every four drug users in Nigeria, one is a woman.
“Above findings of the survey by UNODC give a troubling portrait of drug abuse in Nigeria and we can no longer live in denial that Nigeria has a thriving illicit drug culture.
The NDLEA boss said that, as part of efforts to stem the tide, the Agency has proposed the construction of six standard rehabilitation centres across the six geo-political zones in the country beginning from next year as three of the centres would start next year based on proposed 2022 budget.
“There is no doubt that Substance use impacts negatively on the individual, family and society in general.
Substance abuse affects the physical, social and psychological levels of the user and family members.
Evidence has shown that COVID-19 infections are higher or more common with people diagnosed with Substance Use Disorders (SUD) hence addiction care must be reinforced in order to avoid complications of SUD and COVID-19.
Marwa explained that, “Reducing the demand for illicit drugs in the society depends to a large extent on the successful treatment of existing drug users.
This fact accounts for the shift in global drug policy viz the treatment of drug problems as a public health issue.
“We have operationalised our Standard Practice and Policy Guidelines, a treatment and rehabilitation document developed in conjunction with UNODC.
The document, like a field manual, provides synergy among our counsellors and further boosts our capability at treatment and rehabilitation.
Other dignitaries at the event were; Mr Onofiok Luke, Chairman House of Reps Committee on Judiciary, Prof.
Isidore Obot, Executive Director, CRISA, Representatives of EU, UNODC and Prof.
Ibrahim Abdu Wakawa amongst others.
Drug Addiction: NDLEA to establish 6 rehabilitation centres